Why is Sailor Moon called Serena?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Sailor Moon, the beloved anime and manga series, underwent some significant changes when it first arrived on North American shores in 1995. One of the most notable changes was the decision to “Americanize” the names of the characters, including the main protagonist, Usagi Tsukino.

The decision to change Usagi’s name to Serena was likely made in an attempt to make the show more relatable and marketable to Western audiences. At the time, there was a perception that American audiences may have difficulty connecting with characters who had foreign-sounding names. By giving Usagi a more familiar and common name like Serena, it was believed that audiences would find it easier to identify with her.

However, the name change was not the only alteration made to the series. The English version of Sailor Moon also underwent a significant script rewrite. This rewriting process aimed to adapt the dialogue and storyline to better suit the cultural context and sensibilities of the target audience.

The decision to change character names and alter the script can be seen as a controversial move. Many fans of the original Japanese version felt that these changes diluted the essence of the show and compromised its authenticity. Furthermore, some argued that the name change diminished the character’s identity and cultural heritage.

Personally, as a longtime fan of Sailor Moon, I have mixed feelings about the name change. On one hand, I understand the desire to make the series more accessible to a wider audience. By using a name like Serena, it may have been easier for newcomers to connect with the character. However, on the other hand, I believe that the original name, Usagi, holds a certain charm and uniqueness that adds to the character’s appeal.

It is important to note that the decision to change Usagi’s name was not unique to Sailor Moon. In the past, many anime series that were brought to North America underwent similar name changes in an effort to make them more marketable. This practice, sometimes referred to as “Westernization,” aimed to make the characters and storylines more relatable to Western audiences.

The decision to call Sailor Moon’s main character Serena instead of Usagi was part of an effort to make the series more accessible and marketable to North American audiences. While the name change may have made the character more relatable to some, it also sparked debates among fans about cultural authenticity and the dilution of the original source material. Ultimately, the name change remains a significant aspect of the show’s history and a topic of discussion among fans to this day.